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THE RECORD
Forty-Fourth Street Notes

New York City Consumer Protection Guide

How to Get the Help You Need as a Consumer

Provided by
The Consumer Affairs Committee
The Association of the Bar of the City of New York


Every day, you face a variety of challenges that can affect your life as a consumer. Overcoming these challenges may depend on how well-informed you are. This brochure outlines the many organizations that can assist you in protecting your rights as a consumer. Simply select the topic area that applies to you, and reference the corresponding acronym for the organization's telephone number in the table at the end of the document.


ANIMALS
Abandoned/Lost/Stray DOH

AUTOMOBILES
Insurance DOI, III
Leasing AUTO, BBB, NYAG
Purchase AUTO, BBB, DCA,
FTC
Rentals DCA, NYAG, NYPIRG
Repairs AUTO, BBB, DMV,
NYAG
Used Cars/Lemon Law AUTO, BBB, DCA,
NYAG

PUBLIC RECORDS
Birth/Death Certificates DOH

BUSINESS LICENSING
Business DCA, SOS, DOH, DMV,
NYSDOT, DOE

CIVIC RIGHTS
Discrimination CHR, DHR, DCA, FTC, NAACP
Voting BOEL

CONTESTS & SWEEPSTAKES
Contests & Sweepstakes BBB, DCA, FTC

ELDER SERVICES
Elder Services NYOA
Abuse NYOA
Employment EEOC, NYOA
Evictions NYOA
Healthcare/HMOs NYOA, NYAG
Nursing Homes/
Senior Centers
DOH, HFA
Public Assistance HRA, SSA
Social Security FDIC
Tax Benefits DTF
Veterans' Benefits FDIC

EMPLOYMENT
Business Opportunities BBB, FTC, NYAG
Discrimination EEOC
Franchises FB, FTC, DOL
Labor Disputes DOL
Unemployment DOL
Unions NLRB
Work at Home BBB, FTC, NYAG, DOL
Workers' Rights DOL

ENVIRONMENT
Air CPSC, DEP, DOH, NYPIRG
Garbage DOS
Lead Poisoning NYPIRG, HPD, DOH
Noise DEP, DOH, NYPIRG
Pollution DEP
Potholes DOT
Recycling DOH, DOS, NYPIRG
Sewage DEP, DOH
Street Lights DOT
Street Cleaning DOS
Water Contamination DEP, DOH

FAMILY & CHILD CARE
Adoption DCA, SOS
Day Care DOH, BDC
Schools BOE, DOH

FINANCIAL
Accountants DTF, IRS, ITB
Banking DCA, DOB, FDIC
Bankruptcy BUCCS
Billing Disputes BBB, BUCCS,
DCA, DOB, FTC
Budgeting BUCCS
Check Cashing DOB
Credit BBB, BUCCS,
DCA, FTC
Credit Repair BBB, BUCCS,
DOB, DCA, NYAG
Debt Collection BBB. BUCCS,
DCA, FTC
Financial Services NYAG, SEC, DOF
Income Tax DOF, DTF,
FDIC, IRS, ITB
Real Estate/Property Taxes DTF, FDIC, III
Tax Preparation DCA

GENERAL VENDORS
Advertising BBB, DCA, FTC
Clothing/Furniture/Jewelry BBB, DCA, FTC
Dry Cleaners/Laundromats BBB, DCA, NCA
Food DCA, DOA,
DOH, FDA
Funeral Homes DCA, DOH, FTC
Layaway Programs BBB, DCA, FTC
Product Safety CPSC, FDA
Restaurants DCA, DOA, DOH

HEALTH
AIDS DCA, DOH, HRA
Dentists DOH
Diseases DOH
Fraud BBB, CPB, DCA,
FDA, FTC
HMOs DOE, DOI, III
Medicare HRA, DOI
Medical Devices/Equipment BBB, FDA, FTC, NYAG
Medical Services DOH
Women's Services PPH, WH

HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
Appliances BBB, CPSC, DCA
Defective Merchandise BBB, DCA, FTC
Furniture BBB, DCA, FTC
Warranties BBB, DCA, FTC

HOUSING
Housing RHM, LAS
Asbestos CPSC, DOH
Co-ops/Condos BBB, HPD
Elevators DBU
Heat/Hot Water DOH, HPD, RHM
Home Improvement BBB, CPB, DCA, NYAG
Insects/Rodents DOH, RHM
Landlord/Tenant/Rent RHM, NYAG
Mortgages DOB, FDIC
Lead Poisoning DOH
Window Guards DOH

IMMIGRATION
Immigration & Naturalization INS

INSURANCE
Unemployment Insurance DOI, III

LEGAL
Arbitration AAA, LAS , LSNYC
Legal Referral Service ABCNY
Pro Bono Legal Services LAS , LSNYC, SHIELD
Small Claims Court SCC

MAIL & PACKAGES
Mail NYAG, USPI, USPS
Delivery Problems USPI, USPS
Pornography USPI, USPS
Fraud BBB, USPI
Mail Order BBB, DCA, USPS
Sweepstakes BBB, NYAG
Theft USPI, USPS

MOVING & STORAGE
Moving BBB, DCA, NYSDOT
Storage Facilities BBB, DCA

PUBLIC BENEFITS
Food Stamps HRA, FDA, LAS
Public Benefits HRA, SSA

TELEPHONE RELATED
Telemarketing Problems BBB, DCA, NYAG, FTC
Telephone Problems PSC

TRANSPORTATION & TRAVEL
Buses/ Subways DOT, MTA
Taxis TLC
Travel BBB, DOA

TOURISM
Sight Seeing Buses DCA
Travel BBB, DCA, NYAG, DOA

UTILITIES
Gas & Electric CPB, DCA, PSC, NYPIRG
Water DOH, DEP, PSC

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Organizations & Phone Numbers

AAA American Arbitration Association
212-484-4000
AARP American Association of Retired Persons
800-523-5800
ABCNY Association of the Bar, City of NY
212-626-7373
AUTO Autocap
800-522-3881
BBB Better Business Bureau
212-533-6200
BDC Bureau of Day Care
212-676-2444
BOE NYC Board of Education
718-935-2000
BOEL Board of Elections
800-367-8683
BUCCS Budget & Credit Counseling
212-675-5070
CHR NYC Commission of Human Rights
212-306-7500
CPB NYS Consumer Protection Board
518-474-8583
CPSC U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
212-466-1612, 800-638-2772
DBU NYC Dept. of Buildings
212-312-8000
DCA NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs
212-487-4444
DEP NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection
718-DEP-HELP
DHR NYS Division of Human Rights
212-961-8400
DMV NYS Dept. of Motor Vehicles
212-645-5550
DOA NYS Dept. of Agriculture
718-722-2876
DOB NYS Dept. of Banking
800-522-3330
DOE NYS Dept. of Education
212-951-6400
DOF NYC Dept. of Finance
718-935-6000
DOH NYC Dept. of Health
212-788-4520
DOI NYS Dept. of Insurance
212-602-0203, 800-342-3736
DOL NYC Dept. of Labor
212-337-2319
DOS NYC Dept. of Sanitation
212-219-8090
DOT NYC Dept. of Transportation
212-442-7070, 212-827-6255 (travel & tourism)
DTF NYS Dept. of Taxation & Finance
718-935-6000
EEOC Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
800-669-4000
FB NYC Franchise Bureau
212-442-8040
FDA Food & Drug Administration
800-532-4440
FDIC Fed. Deposit Insurance Corp.
800-688-9889
FTC Federal Trade Comm.
212-264-1207
HFA NYS Health Facilities Association
518-462-4800
HPD NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation & Development
212-960-4800
HRA NYC Human Resources Adminis.
212-645-7070
III Insurance Information Institute
800-942-4242
INS Immunization & Naturalization Service
212-206-6500
IRS Internal Revenue Service
800-829-1040, 800-829-3676
ITB Income Tax Bureau
718-935-6000
LAS Legal Aid Society
212-431-7200
LSNYC Legal Services of NYC
212-431-7200
MTA NYC Transit Authority
718-330-3000
NAACP Nat'l Association for the Advanc. of Colored People
212-666-9740
NCA Neighborhood Cleaners Association
212-967-3002
NLRB National Labor Relations Board
212-264-0300
NYAG NYS Attorney General
212-416-8345, 800-771-7755
NYCHA NYC Housing Authority
212-289-8000
NYOA NYC Dept. of the Aging
212-442-1000
NYPIRG NY Public Interest Research Group
212-349-6460
NYSDOT NYS Dept. of Transportation
718-482-4594
PPH Planned Parenthood
212-677-6474
PSC NYS Public Service Commission
800-342-3355
RHM NYC Dept. of Rent & Housing Maintenance
212-960-4800
SCC Small Claims Court
212-791-6000
SEC Securities & Exchange Commission
212-748-8000
SOS NYS Secretary of State
212- 417-5800
SSA Social Security Administration
800-772-1213
SHIELD ABCNY
212-382-6702
TLC Taxi & Limousine Commission
212-221-TAXI
USPI U.S. Postal Inspector
212-330-3844
USPS U.S. Postal Service
212-330-2908
WH NYC Women's Healthline
212-230-1111


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